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EJC News Focus – September 2013

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EJC's Drug of the Year, 2013

Immunotherapy is finally emerged from the shadows as a realistic – and perhaps essential – tool in cancer control. After decades of painstaking research which yielded little benefit for patients, immunotherapy has entered a fresh phase with the development of new agents that can either activate the immune system or re-awaken silenced immune responses to a tumour.

The emerging paradigm, by which only the most effective immune cells are selectively harnessed to target the tumour, is an immediate advance for patients. It also holds the promise of future steps forward, as clinicians and researchers learn how best to use the new agents in combination.

In this month's EJC News Focus, Jean-Charles Soria and Caroline Robert, both from Institut Gustave Roussy, Paris-Sud, France, explain to Helen Saul why the Programmed Death-1 receptor (PD-1), and its ligand (PD-L1), have been recognised in EJC's Drug of the Year article, 2013.